The Unpredictable

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”  – Woody Allen

It’s been over a month now, since we picked up our life and moved out of Indianapolis.  We crossed 2300 miles of open road, and passed through nine states. It was a real adventure, and one that continues! But more on that in a moment.

Devil's Tower Rear View (c) Frank Kelly

Devil’s Tower Rear View (c) Frank Kelly

I’m happy to report that the kids were real troopers.  There was the occasional whining around nap time, but mostly they adapted surprisingly well.  Even Georgie, the dog, acclimated herself to the cramped quarters of the minivan.  And the minivan herself ran remarkably well (now at 14 years old, 192,000 miles and counting!), the only mishap being a rock chip in the windshield 30 minutes outside our final destination! So we drove, both Frank and I, through wind and rain, mountain passes, flat prairies, through forests and over rivers.  We listened to all kinds of music and books on CD, and we had silent times, too.  We visited friends and family and we made lots and lots of memories.  There were tears of joy, and of pain.

Hyalite Reservoir

Hyalite Reservoir

I’d like to tell you about every moment, but I must confess, the two parts of our trip that stand out the most are The Disaster and The Unfinished Sequel.

The Disaster
Our trip went like this – Day 1: Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin.  Day 2: Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota.  Day 3: South Dakota, Wyoming. Day 4: Wyoming, Montana. On that fourth day we arrived in my hometown of Bozeman.  We had planned to stop and stay a day or two with my parents, rest up, and get back on the road in order to arrive in Seattle on Friday or Saturday.  It was sunny and lovely, we arrived at about lunchtime and set about catching up with my folks.  I had a bit of heartburn that evening when we went to bed, but I didn’t think anything of it.

By lunchtime the next day (Thursday), I was in a lot of pain and the usual remedies were not working.  I went to Urgent Care and expressed my concerns that this might be a reoccurrence of the Pancreatitis that plagued me when I was pregnant with Shea (and forced me into an early induction). The doctor took some tests, and while I waited for them to come back, my condition quickly worsened.  I had walked in on my own, but within an hour or so, I was laid out on the bed in the examination room as the nurse tried to hook me up to an IV for the pain.  I was then sent to the ER, the suspected prognosis, Pancreatitis. I don’t remember much of being admitted to the hospital, but I know that I spent four miserable days there.  This is in no way a slight on Bozeman Deaconess – the staff were truly awesome andI can’t think of a single person who deserves complaint.  But I was not in a good way at all.  Once in the hospital, I was hooked up to one, and later two, IVs of fluid, strong pain killers and anti-nausea medication.  The doctor also put me on antibiotics and iron supplements.  After that, all I could do was wait and try to rest, until the inflammation went down.

Bruises, Needles, ID Bracelets

Bruises, Needles, ID Bracelets

It’s kind of amazing how quickly a body can deteriorate. I mean, I’m not a fine specimen of fitness, but I’m 32, I eat pretty well, run around after my kids and can’t complain of too many ailments, aside from various aches and pains associated with my age and lifestyle.  I don’t smoke, rarely drink, eat my fruits and veggies, etc. Yet, within a matter of about 6 hours of feeling the dreaded familiar abdominal pains, I was confined to a bed, unable to stand, eat, drink, or even use a toilet.  My lipase levels were up over 5000 (when normal levels range from 10 – 140 U/L) and my blood pressure kept dipping very low.  I had two IVs of fluid and oxygen at times when I was struggling to breathe.  It was scary and miserable and I was totally helpless.

Of course, our insurance was good through the end of September… and I got sick on the 2nd of October.

But, with the help of my family and a great team of healthcare professionals, I made it through.  I had a couple days without food or drink and started retaining water really badly, so as I gained my strength back, I tried to slowly walk the halls.  On the third day there, I was allowed to go back on a liquid diet, which was music to my ears.  By Sunday, I was able to go back to my parents and continue recovering there.  I did have to go back to the ER two days later with a subsequent infection, and we stayed in Bozeman a total of 10 days so I could rest.

At that stage, we got back in the car and split our final leg of the journey to Seattle in two, stopping to spend the night in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho between. We finally arrived in Seattle, Washington, on Monday, 13th of October, just two and half weeks ago.

Montana Rainbow

The Unfinished Sequel
While all this was going on… Frank had another curveball thrown at him.  Or to him, perhaps.  We had, of course, been putting all our eggs in the Seattle basket for weeks, months, doing research, getting excited!  Just read my last post!!! We’d been applying for jobs and making contacts all summer and were all set to live with friends in Kenmore when we got here.  Then, while we were in Bozeman, Frank unexpectedly got interviewed for a job with a company called Shawk, which works for Apple, is based at Apple HQ in Cupertino, CA.  He had been interviewed by them about six months ago and did not get the position, so we had abandoned the idea of it at that time. Well, they were looking for someone again, and were really interested in talking to Frank again.

We were totally dumbfounded, confused and excited all at once.  Should he go for it?  Should he not?  We’d made plans!  And to be honest, we had our hearts set on Seattle, sight unseen.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways, so they say, and we figured it would be foolish for Frank to not at least consider the possibility.  Long story short, he went through five more interviews, the last of which was in person in California.  Then, a week ago, he heard from them, and was offered the job.  By Monday morning, he had flown back down there to start work on Tuesday.

So! Yeah.  Here I am, still in Seattle, still living off the goodwill of our friends, with the kids and the dog!  And I guess we’re moving down to the San Francisco Bay Area!  I’m not sure when, or how, but hopefully by Thanksgiving at the latest.

Sunset View From the Space Needle

Sunset View From the Space Needle

I never, ever, in a million years, would have, could have predicted such a turn of events.  Never.  Ever.  I am still sort of in shock.  And a little unsure.  But happy! And anxious.

It’s incredible, I guess, what opportunities await you around every corner, if you’re willing to give it a try, and take the risk.  I am not even going to guess at what our future holds, not even for the next week, but I have to admit, I don’t know when I’ve felt so intrigued by life.  If all this can happen in the span of a month… what do the next 50 years hold?

I’ll do my best to keep sharing as we journey on. 🙂

In the meantime, if you have any recommendations (including jobs, blogs, books, mummy groups, etc.) for the SF Bay Area, please do share.  I’m sort of at a loss for where to start.  Again.

And do keep us all in your prayers as we figure this out. 😉

Click Here To Watch: The Kellys’ Great Western Adventure – Slideshow


2 thoughts on “The Unpredictable

  1. Sounds like you have recovered and the future looks bright with Frank’s new job. If you had to get sick, at least you had the support of your parents as well as Frank and the kids. Look into the COBRA insurance from Frank’s previous job. It will be retroactive back to Oct 1 and should cost significantly less than your hospital bill. Good wishes for San Francisco!

  2. I’ve not gotten to go to San Francisco, but I have two sets of friends from there who miss it badly and would give their eye teeth to go back. They miss the diversity, the acceptance of different cultures and life styles, the arts scene, the variety of everything. And I’m in Tampa, which is not exactly the hind end of space! I’ve heard Apple is a fantastic company to work for; here’s hoping their contractor follows suit. You guys are way overdue a break! Good luck, and be good to you.

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